Sunderland students head for European Parliament in Brussels

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STUDENTS from Wearside have received funding to visit the European Parliament.

A group of 45 from the University of Sunderland will make the trip to Brussels after being given £9,000 from Labour Party MEP for the North East, Stephen Hughes.

The students, who study Law, Tourism, Business, and Biomedical Sciences, will be able to hear what is being discussed in parliament.

Students’ Union contact officer Jan Spalek said: “It’s very beneficial to them because everything decided at the European Parliament affects everyone.

“When they are writing about what goes on there, they will have a better understanding of it, and it could raise their aspirations.

“They could think about going into politics and becoming an MP or MEP.”

The group will make the journey to Belgium on Friday, February 14.

They will also visit Bruges and return on Wednesday, February 19.

More than 300 people applied for the 45 places.

Jan added: “It has been very, very popular. It is a good thing because not that many people know a lot about the EP. This way they can see exactly what is being discussed and how things work.”

Mr Hughes, who has been an MEP since 1984, said: “I am delighted that students from Sunderland University will be coming to learn more about the European institutions.

“I have had the privilege of welcoming thousands of visitors from the North East to Brussels and Strasbourg over the past 30 years. I have no doubt that the Sunderland students will learn a lot and will share what they have seen and learnt with their families and friends on their return.”